SportsPark is to open this weekend in Columbia 'Fine-tuning' won't halt start-up tomorrow

May 01, 1998|By Steven Kreytak | Steven Kreytak,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

It looks as if there is plenty of work to do before baseballs can be hit and golf balls tapped at Columbia's new entertainment park.

But Columbia Association officials say banners on a pedestrian bridge over Harper's Choice Road are correct -- the SportsPark in Harper's Choice Village will open this weekend.

"We're going to open Saturday," said Bob Eckhoff, park general manager. "We'll still be fine-tuning but I think we're going to make it."

The park's main components -- miniature golf course, batting cage and clubhouse -- appear almost usable through the machines and debris of construction. But much work remains -- landscaping, paving sidewalks and the parking lot and other construction -- before the complex can step from hard-hat area to family-fun center.

Rob Goldman, CA's vice president of membership services, said that when the CA park, featuring an 18-hole miniature golf course, 10 batting cages, a playground, party pavilions and a clubhouse, -- opens this weekend, it will turn heads.

"I think people will be thrilled," he said. "There'll be lines of people."

On opening day tomorrow -- hours will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- golf and batting will be free and food will be discounted.

Prices for the rest of the year -- $5 for miniature golf and $1 for 16 pitches in the batting cages -- will be slightly reduced for Columbia residents.

The park will be open from noon to 10 p.m. during June, July and August. Hours will be trimmed during May, October and November, and the park will be closed during the winter.

Construction of the $1.8 million complex began in September. Eckhoff said 47 days were lost to mud resulting from winter rain.

"We've had a real wet winter, and that's slowed us down," Eckhoff said.

"But it's one of the most exciting sports parks of this kind we've seen, and we traveled all over the East Coast looking at them."

Pub Date: 5/01/98

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